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AGO 1957 No. 17 - February 13, 1957
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ‑- SECOND AND THIRD CLASS ‑- SALE OF PROPERTY WITHOUT VOTE OF DISTRICT

A school district of the second or third class may convey real property to a town for street purposes without a direction by vote of the school district under procedure specified in RCW 28.58.045 or RCW 39.33.010

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                                                                February 13, 1957

Honorable John Hancock
Prosecuting Attorney
Okanogan County
Hancock Building
Okanogan, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 17


Dear Sir:

            You have requested the opinion of this office on the question of whether a school district of the second or third class may convey real property to a town for street purposes without a direction to do so by the voters of the school district.

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The statutes necessary for the determination of this question are in pertinent part as follows:

            RCW 28.63.180

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "The school board shall . . . purchase or sell lots or other real estate when directed by a vote of the district to do so. . . ."

            RCW 28.58.045 (1953 Supp.)

            "The board of directors of any school district of this state may:

            "(1) sell for cash, at public or private sale, and convey by deed all interest of the district in or to any of the real property of the district which is no longer required for school purposes if the value thereof is twenty thousand dollars or less; . . .

            "If the value of any such parcel of real property is found by the board of directors to be greater than twenty thousand dollars, the question of the sale thereof shall be submitted to a vote of the voters of the district, either at a general or special election called for that purpose. . . .

            "'Sections 28.58.040, 28.62.190 and 28.63.180, RCW to the extent that the same are inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are repealed.'  [1953 c 225 § 2.]"

            RCW 39.33.010 (1953 Supp.)

            "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof, may sell, transfer, exchange, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real or personal, or property rights, including but not limited to the title to real property, to the state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the proper authorities of the state and/or the subdivisions concerned:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            Provided, That such property is determined by decree of the superior court in the county where such property is located, after publication of notice of hearing is given as fixed and directed by such court, to be either necessary, or surplus or excess to the future foreseeable needs of the state or of such municipality or any political subdivision thereof concerned, which requests authority to transfer such property."

            RCW 28.58.045 (1953 Supp.) provides a method for the sale of real property by a school district for cash without a vote of the school district if the property is of an appraised value of not more than $20,000.00.

            In addition to the method specified in RCW 28.58.045 (1953 Supp.), it is our opinion that a conveyance of the property may be made by following the procedure set out in RCW 39.33.010 (1953 Supp.).  We have previously held that a school district is a political subdivision of the state within the purview of that statute.  AGO 55-57-313 [[to Don J. Clark, Prosecuting Attorney, Yakima County on August 17, 1956]]

            The enactment of RCW 39.33.010 (1953 Supp.) evidences a legislative intent to simplify the transfer of property between the state and its various political subdivisions.  The language, "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary," must be construed to mean that the state, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may convey real property to the state, any municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, under a proper decree of the superior court, even though prior statutory enactments may prohibit a conveyance of such real property or prescribe a different procedure for its conveyance.

            Thus, although under RCW 28.63.180 a school district of the second or third class may sell real property to a private party only when directed by a vote of the district, this procedure is not exclusive when the sale is to the state, a municipality, or other political subdivision of the state.  In such a case, the procedure outlined in RCW 39.33.010 (1953 Supp.) may be followed and the board of directors need not secure a directive to sell the real property from the voters of the school district.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]

            We are further of the opinion that the phrase, "on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the proper authorities of the state and/or the subdivisions concerned," is broad enough to include a conveyance for street purposes upon condition that the town construct a street thereon.

            Therefore, a school district of the second or third class may convey real property to a town for street purposes without a directive by a vote of the school district under either the procedure specified in RCW 28.58.045 (1953 Supp.) or the procedure specified in RCW 39.33.010 (1953 Supp.).

            We trust that this opinion will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General


ELVIN J. VANDENBERG
Assistant Attorney General

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